German language

Old Mar 22, 17, 5:16 am
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German language

I had to chuckle when I looked at the receipt I got at a German brew-pub recently. They had a little tag-line at the bottom which said 'Vielen Dank und einen guten Heimweg'. I get the idea well enough -- and it's a nice thought -- but how does one render that second part in idiomatic English?!?
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Old Mar 22, 17, 6:21 am
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"and have a good way home" (good is literal translation it would be safe/nice if you want to capture the meaning)
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Old Mar 22, 17, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by blitzen View Post
"and have a good way home" (good is literal translation it would be safe/nice if you want to capture the meaning)
Sorry, but as a native speaker of English (with a post-graduate degree in linguistics), I'm afraid 'have a good way home' is simply not idiomatic; i.e., it is not something that an English speaker would say. In Ireland one hears 'Safe home!', which gets to the safe / nice meaning you mention. 'Have a good trip home'? Maybe, if the trip involved some distance -- but not if, for example, someone was walking 100-200 metres home from the pub. It's tricky.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 8:46 am
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There is nothing that is fitting.

What is is said having the same basic idea is: Take care
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Old Mar 22, 17, 8:53 am
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Seems that a "Vielen Dank für ihren Besuch" could've done the job. That said, I don't see why the "Vielen Dank und einen guten Heimweg" is wrong.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 10:16 am
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Well, it means 'have a save trip home', not 'take care'.

It is somewhat unusual in German as well. You might say something like 'drive carefully' to a friend but it's quite unorthodox for a pub to express something along those lines.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by fppmongo View Post
Well, it means 'have a save trip home', not 'take care'.

It is somewhat unusual in German as well. You might say something like 'drive carefully' to a friend but it's quite unorthodox for a pub to express something along those lines.
it translates to "save trip home" but is used in a way a New Yorker would say "take care"

a tub tub would not mention driving after drinking
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Old Mar 22, 17, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by henry999 View Post
Sorry, but as a native speaker of English (with a post-graduate degree in linguistics), I'm afraid 'have a good way home' is simply not idiomatic; i.e., it is not something that an English speaker would say. In Ireland one hears 'Safe home!', which gets to the safe / nice meaning you mention. 'Have a good trip home'? Maybe, if the trip involved some distance -- but not if, for example, someone was walking 100-200 metres home from the pub. It's tricky.
Well the German word Heimweg refers to a way back home, without referencing distance in this instance, but inherently implying shorter distances manageable by foot.

I would not translate this as a trip or journey implying longer distances - this would be a Heimreise or Heimfahrt involving greater distances and some kind of mechanical assistance in completing this.

(And yes, given some circumstances, a 100m walk back home from the pub can be quite tricky!)
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Old Mar 22, 17, 12:59 pm
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I think I'd translate it as "get home safely", although perhaps that carries too much of a connotation that something bad is likely to happen on your five-minute walk home.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by waffle View Post
I think I'd translate it as "get home safely", although perhaps that carries too much of a connotation that something bad is likely to happen on your five-minute walk home.
i know it is something that can't be translated as such as all more literal translations don't capture the spirit
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Old Mar 22, 17, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by henry999 View Post
Sorry, but as a native speaker of English (with a post-graduate degree in linguistics), I'm afraid 'have a good way home' is simply not idiomatic; i.e., it is not something that an English speaker would say. In Ireland one hears 'Safe home!', which gets to the safe / nice meaning you mention. 'Have a good trip home'? Maybe, if the trip involved some distance -- but not if, for example, someone was walking 100-200 metres home from the pub. It's tricky.
I must say, I'm a bit confused. If you personally do understand the point being made simply by reading the German text (you say you get the idea and you can appreciate it), as a native speaker of English with a post-graduate degree in linguistics, why would you hope to find an FTer who knows English better than you do? Just my two cents

I'll assert that einen guten Heimweg does, in fact, mean "Get home safely" in the same context you would use "drive carefully", "be safe on your way home", "be safe on the road".

Is it familiar in its usage? Sure, but businesses are more and more familiar with their customers every day--for example, using the pronouns "du" and "euch" in direct statements to the customer, etc. Campaigns aimed at the under-30 crowd are often familiar and frech. It's relatable and it sells.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 5:00 pm
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Such signs are common in my experience. Kommen Sie gut nach Hause would be something else. I can't see anything unusual about Guter Heimweg.
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Old Mar 23, 17, 12:16 am
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Originally Posted by Grog View Post
I must say, I'm a bit confused. ... why would you hope to find an FTer who knows English better than you do?
Not at all. My hope was simply to find someone -- and FT is a convenient starting point -- who knows English as well as I do who also knows German.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 3:46 am
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Where is the confusion? It is simply wishing you: "have a safe trip home" or "look after yourself" or "take care", depending on where you are from. As a native English and German speaker I see no problem here.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
... It is simply wishing you: "have a safe trip home" ...
Again: the question is not about the wish; the wish is understood. The question is how to translate this German phrase into natural English. If you're in the pub with your mates and someone leaves (and you know he lives across the road and 100 metres down), you're not going to say 'have a safe trip home' unless you're taking the p!ss. Does the German Heimweg carry any sense of irony here? I didn't think so.
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